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8 Democrats Who Shouldn’t Bother Seeking Police Endorsements For Their Reelection Campaigns

- March 5, 2014

Today, The Senate Voted On The Nomination Of Debo Adegbile, President Obama's Nominee To Head The Civil Rights Division At The Department Of Justice. "A parade of Republicans took to the Senate floor Tuesday and slammed the White House's pick for the Justice Department's top civil rights job: a New York lawyer who helped keep a notorious cop killer off death row. A procedural vote to end debate on the nomination of Debo Adegbile, 47, is expected Wednesday morning. It will require only a 51-vote majority -- not the 60-vote supermajority required before Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) scrapped the filibuster rule for nominations late last year." (Joseph Straw, "Senate GOP slams Adegbile Nomination Ahead Of Vote," New York Daily News, 3/4/14)

Sens. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mark Udall (D-CO), Mark Warner (D-VA), Al Franken (D-MN) And Jeff Merkley (D-OR) All Voted To Confirm Adegbile. "Every Republican also voted against the nomination, sending it to defeat. It's the first time a nomination has gone down since Democrats changed the Senate's filibuster rules so that only bare-majority votes are needed on procedural motions. Vice President Biden presided over the vote and would have been available to break a tie, but his vote was not needed. Along with Reid, the Democratic votes against Adegbile were Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), John Walsh (Mont.), Chris Coons (Del.) and Bob Casey (Pa.). Several other Democrats in tough races voted in favor of the nomination. Sens. Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mary Landrieu (La.) and Mark Begich (Alaska) are all seen as vulnerable in this year's midterms, but all three voted in favor of moving the nomination forward." (Ramsey Cox, "Senate Rejects Obama Nominee Who Defended Convicted Cop Killer," The Hill, 3/5/14)

ADEGBILE ASSISTED IN THE APPEAL OF COP KILLER MUMIA ABU-JAMAL

Adegbile Led The NAACP Legal Defense Fund When It Defended Notorious Cop Killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. "The 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer could potentially derail the confirmation of Debo Adegbile, the Obama administration's pick to head the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. Adegbile, whose tenure as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's director of litigation has been criticized by lawmakers and police unions, has cleared procedural hurdles and now faces a confirmation vote on Wednesday, March 5. Under Adegbile's direction, the Legal Defense Fund participated in the series of appeals that achieved a commutation of Mumia Abu-Jamal's death sentence, which critics say should disqualify him from becoming an assistant attorney general." ("DOJ Nominee Faces Opposition For Defending Mumia Abu-Jamal," Al Jazeera America , 3/4/14)

In 1981, Mumia Abu-Jamal Murder Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, Shooting Him In The Back, And Then Four More Times As Faulkner Fell. "On December 9, 1981, at approximately 3:55 a.m., Officer Danny Faulkner, a five year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, made a traffic stop at Locust Street near Twelfth Street. The car stopped by Officer Faulkner was being driven by William Cook. After making the stop, Danny called for assistance on his police radio and requested a police wagon to transport a prisoner. Unbeknownst to him, William Cook's brother, Wesley (aka Mumia Abu-Jamal) was across the street. As Danny attempted to handcuff William Cook, Mumia Abu-Jamal ran from across the street and shot the officer in the back. Danny turned and was able to fire one shot that struck Abu-Jamal in the chest; the wounded officer then fell to the pavement. Mumia Abu-Jamal stood over the downed officer and shot at him four more times at close range, striking him once directly in the face." ("The Danny Faulkner Story," Fraternal Order Of Police, Accessed 3/5/14)

  • Multiple Witnesses Confirmed That Abu-Jamal Shot Officer Faulkner. "A cab driver, as well as other pedestrians, had witnessed the brutal slaying and identified Mumia Abu-Jamal as the killer both at the scene and during his trial." ("The Danny Faulkner Story," Fraternal Order Of Police, Accessed 3/5/14)

According To Reports, Jamal Admitted To Shooting Faulker. "Before his death, Faulkner returned fire and shot Abu-Jamal in the stomach. Both men were taken to the same hospital, where Abu-Jamal was heard to say, 'I shot the motherfucker and I hope the motherfucker dies.'" (Michael Smerconish, "The Slain Policeman's Widow in the Mumia Abu-Jamal Case Speaks," The Daily Beast , 11/8/10)

A Jury Convicted Abu-Jamal Of Murder And Sentenced Him To Death In 1982; His Conviction Was Upheld By The Supreme Court Of Pennsylvania In 1989. "On July 2, 1982, after being tried before a jury of ten whites and two blacks, Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of murdering Officer Danny Faulkner. The next day, the jury sentenced him to death after deliberating for four hours. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania heard the defendant's appeals and upheld the conviction on March 6, 1989." ("The Danny Faulkner Story," Fraternal Order Of Police, Accessed 3/5/14)

Abu-Jamal's Death Sentence Was Overturned In 2009 Thanks To Appellate Work Done By Adegbile's Legal Team. "Abu-Jamal was sentenced to die for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police Officer Daniel Faulkner. His death sentence was later overturned - thanks, in part, to appellate work done by a team Adegbile supervised in 2009 while working at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund." (Jonathan Tamari and Jeremy Roebuck, "Casey Won't Back Justice Nominee Over Abu-Jamal Work," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/2/14)

Law Enforcement Groups And Multiple Democrats Oppose Adegbile's Nomination

The Fraternal Order Of Police Opposed Adegbile's Nomination, Calling It A "Thumb In The Eye" For Law Enforcement Officers. "A group that represents U.S. police officers is opposing President Barack Obama's choice for a top civil rights post because he helped represent a man convicted in the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia officer. The Fraternal Order of Police said in a letter released on Wednesday that the nomination of lawyer Debo Adegbile to head the U.S. Justice Department's civil rights division was 'a thumb in the eye' for law enforcement officers." (David Ingram, "Police Group Opposes Obama Civil Rights Nominee," Reuters , 1/8/14)

The Fraternal Order Of Police Argue That Adegbile's Team Went Beyond Advocacy For Abu-Jamal And Falsely Accused Officer Faulkner Of Beating Abu-Jamal's Brother. "The police group's letter said that argument should not apply to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund's representation of Abu-Jamal. 'A defense should not be based on falsely disparaging and savaging the good name and reputation of a lifeless police officer,' it said. The letter did not elaborate on why the legal defense was disparaging. In a phone interview, Jim Pasco, executive director of the police group, said Abu-Jamal's lawyers falsely accused Faulkner of beating up Abu-Jamal's brother." (David Ingram, "Police Group Opposes Obama Civil Rights Nominee," Reuters , 1/8/14)

Pennsylvania's Democratic Senator Robert Casey Announced Days Ago That He Would Not Vote To Confirm Adebile Due To His Advocacy For Abu-Jamal. "U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D., Pa.) said Friday he would vote against confirming an Obama administration nominee whose past efforts to overturn the death sentence of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal have drawn Republican ire. Casey's decision, described in a statement he released late Friday, makes him one of the only Senate Democrats to have publicly opposed lawyer Debo Adegbile as the president's pick to lead the Justice Department's civil rights division." (Jonathan Tamari and Jeremy Roebuck, "Casey Won't Back Justice Nominee Over Abu-Jamal Work," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/2/14)

Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams, A Democrat, Opposed Adegbile's Nomination, Saying He Has An "Unconscionable Record In The Abu-Jamal Case." "The Justice Department touts its civil-rights division as the 'conscience of the federal government.' In light of that role, it is disturbing that Debo Adegbile-a man with impressive credentials but an unconscionable record in the Abu-Jamal case-is poised to become the next assistant attorney general to lead this division." (Sen. Pat Toomey and R. Seth Williams, "Toomey And Williams: The Justice Nominee And The Cop Killer," The Wall Street Journal , 2/24/14)


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